December is a month for a lot of things, including reflecting and celebrating and even some resting if you can squeeze it in. We’ll be doing some reflection FOR SURE here on the ClubX Blog (2020 has a LOT TO REFLECT ON!!!), but the end of a year is also a good time to think about how we want to enter into the next one.
I know I’m currently working on my 2021 professional goals, and specifically what I need to accomplish them. While we can’t know with total certainty what lies ahead, I mean 2020 taught us that if nothing else lolol *single tear*, it always helps to start with a plan, some specific ideas to build on, and tools for growth. So to support you in setting your Club or Youth Center goals, here are four of BGCA’s best resources.
Plan for greatness with Program Basics.
We launched the totally revamped Program Basics suite last year, and it is the most comprehensive program planning resource we’ve ever created. From the BLUEprint, the definitive guide to program planning and delivery; to Playbooks, short and targeted guides to creating an Outcome-Driven Club Experience for youth in any physical space, time of day, or Core Program Area; to the YD Toolbox, our in the moment app for quick community builders, reflections, and more; to new in-person and digital professional development on Spillett Leadership University; to the Planner? We’ve got everything you need.
I want to zero in on the Program Basics Planner for a minute. This dynamic website gives you all the tools to create annual, seasonal, weekly and session plans for your Clubhouse. It’s got background info, fillable forms, and we added a special section this year with information on planning for social distancing and re-opening where needed. Truly a one-stop shop! Bookmark it at ProgramBasicsPlanner.com, because you’ll want to revisit it throughout 2021. This site is open to anyone, even without a BGCA.net login.
MyFuture? More like MYGOODNESS THIS WEBSITE IS INCREDIBLE!!!
Speaking of revamps, MyFuture is now faster, easier to use, and just flat out better than ever before. With new features added on a rolling basis, I can’t even capture them all here, but you can now search and filter over 400 activities by Program Area, specific BGCA Program, age, and even contests! On the Staff Dashboard, you can now bulk upload members, approve projects, and even set Club announcements to go to the homepages of all of your members! MyFuture can be integrated into any area of the Club with Programs like ALL STARS, Positive Club Climate, Visual Arts, and even teen specific activities. You can plan programming around contests which are always featured on the home page, use the activities as follow-up to Virtual Club live sessions, or in a million other ways! It is going to be your favorite go-to in 2021, I just know it.
We’ve also been hosting live events on MyFuture all year long in the Whatever It Takes series. These events, geared to teens and tweens, have been a blast, and covered topics like Speak Your Mind, Love Yourself, Be a Hero, and more. All the recordings are still up at MyFuture.net/Events. Anyone can view and complete MyFuture activities, including youth who are not currently members, but only Boys & Girls Club staff can approve activities and manage Club dashboards and data. Get started by heading to the Staff Resources page today! Questions? MyFuture@bgca.org is here to help.
Breathe in… breathe out… get centered with SMART Moves: Emotional Wellness.
The newly updated SMART Moves: Emotional Wellness Program is the perfect choice for starting the new year. These 10 sessions designed for youth in grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8 focus on building the social-emotional skills of self-regulation, impulse control, and stress management. Read how this program made a huge impact at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley in this post. In my personal and professional opinion, starting 2021 with this foundation is so wildly important I can’t stress it enough.
And even better news, we’ve now added a SMART Moves: Emotional Wellness Teen Expansion Pack to integrate concepts of identifying emotions and self-regulation into your teen center programming. It’s got the latest info on how COVID-19 is affecting teens, implementation tips, discussion activities, and more. Boys & Girls Club staff can download it now at BGCA.net.
Connect with your Boys & Girls Club colleagues for questions, answers, and ENCOURAGEMENT!
One of the very best things to happen in 2020 was the start of the BGCA Youth Development Group on Facebook! Once COVID-19 hit, I knew we’d need each other more than ever, so they finally let me connect the YD Facebook page (which you should also follow to get the latest announcements right in your Newsfeed) to a group made up of Club staff at all levels from across the country. We’ve got over 2,300 members as I’m writing this, and we have a blast sharing videos, answering questions, and bouncing ideas back and forth. Just answer the two membership questions and you’ll be admitted! This group is only open to current Boys & Girls Club or BGCA-Affiliated Youth Center staff.
With these four resources, you’ll absolutely start the new year strong. And that will put us in the best position to take whatever 2021 decides to throw our way.